Black Diamond thrives on the chemistry and compositions of saxophonists Artie Black and Hunter Diamond. They met while studying under David Baker and Tom Walsh at Indiana University. Their mutual admiration for the collaborative recordings of saxophonists Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh led them to experiment with their own two-tenor palette. It quickly became apparent that the variance in their tonal and stylistic approaches created a captivating sense of balance. This dynamic has allowed them the unique compositional opportunity to write for the group in a way that is both deeply personal and instrumentally uncommon.
In Chicago, the band has been featured in residency at Andy's Jazz Club and the The Drake Hotel. Other performances include associations with the Chicago Jazz Institute, Sounds of the City Workshop, the Anagram Series at the Elastic Arts Foundation, and the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective. In May 2017 they headlined the Gainesville Jazz Festival as part of a weeklong Florida tour.
August 2017 marks the release of Black Diamond's debut recording , "Mandala," on Shifting Paradigm Records. Featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Neil Hemphill, the album contains nine original works by Black and Diamond. The title is inspired by the Vajrayana Buddhist practice of sand painting. The intent of a mandala is to form a representation of the enlightened mind through inctricate patterning of layered grains of colored sand. The music on "Mandala" represents our grains laid; our mandala composed.